Monday, August 5, 2013

Washington, Week 15

Well, this week was a challenging one for me. My back/neck/shoulders took a turn for the worse. I have been in a lot of pain and nothing provides much relief. I met with my orthopedist to discuss the result of my MRI: I have a bulging disc at C6/7, cervical spondylosis (degenerative osteoarthritis in the neck), and radiculopathy (the nerves are being pinched as they leave the spinal column). Prescribed treatment: physical therapy 2x/week for 4-6 weeks, and an epidural 1x/every 2 weeks. I cannot get into physical therapy until the 12th, and today I got my first epidural (not fun!).

Yesterday at church, I stood to give my Sunday school lesson, and by the end, my right arm was numb, my hand was purple, and I was nauseated from the severity of the pain. Nobody noticed anything though, and they loved the lesson, so that was good! :) After church I got permission to go to urgent care at the hospital, and the doctor gave me some pain medicine. It helped provide a little relief. My chiropractor today said that the reason it didn't help much is because pain meds don't help nerve pain. So that makes sense I guess.

My mom told me that many of you fasted for me yesterday. I can't thank you enough! That means so much to me. I'm so grateful to each one of you. I'm so thankful to have such wonderful family members and friends! :)

But besides all that excitement, our Book of Mormon class and both of our Member Missionary classes went SO well this week! Everyone is getting excited and feeling the Spirit! People have kept their commitment to "find someone who will say no to an invitation to learn more about the gospel". I know it sounds weird, but it works! ;) If you read the book, you'll understand what I'm talking about. :)

Also, we had transfers. My new companion is Sister Thompson. She's from Farmington, Utah and has been out 10 months. We get along really well and are so much alike! :) It's great!

I'm pretty sure I told you on Tuesday, but on Monday, Billy (Beth Eno's boyfriend) committed to baptism! :)

Those are the highlights of the week. Sorry this is so short!

I love you all, and thank you for everything! :)
Love, Sister Stanley
Washington Seattle Mission

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Washington, Week 14

Well, not a whole ton happened this week. Today is transfers though, so we stopped at a library on the way to the mission office in Bellevue. Sister Redford is being transferred, which is a big surprise to everyone, as she only has 4 weeks left before she goes home, but I guess that's just Heavenly Father's will. Another sister who only has 4 weeks left is being transferred as well. Anyway, I'll be meeting my new companion in a couple hours.
One exciting thing that did happen is that we had our first member missionary class on Sunday! It was SO good! The Spirit was really strong and Bishop Havens told us that everyone told him that they loved it and they are really excited to be having it. Tonight will be our Book of Mormon book club again and then Thursday will be our first class of the member missionary class for those taking it on Thursdays. I'm excited and I hope my new companion is as excited about it as I am! :)

Also...Billy committed to baptism last night!!!!!!!!!!! Hooray! He is the boyfriend of a less-active member in our ward. Her son Nic committed to baptism last week. Both Billy and Nic will be getting baptized September 7th!! I'm SO happy! And after Billy said "Yes", that he would like to be baptized, he just couldn't stop smiling. The joy was all over his face. It was so wonderful, and I am just so excited for them! Laurielee is the 6-year-old daughter and she is just the cutest! She talks every time about how she wants to be baptized so she can be all clean! :)
Well, those are the highlights of the week. Also, I had an MRI on Wednesday, ordered by an orthopedist I went to because my nerves in my arms and hands have been all out of whack and I've had lots of pain. He thinks it might be a herniated disc in my neck. No news yet, but I'll let you know!
I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and support and letters! They mean the world to me!
Love, Sister Stanley

Monday, July 22, 2013

Washington, Week 13

This week many great things happened!
On Monday the 9-year-old (Nic) that we have been teaching (who is the son of a less-active named Beth) said that he wants to be baptized so he can be "nice and clean"! It's so cute :) So, he is now on-date for August 17th!
Also, on Saturday we went to see a lady that we met a few weeks back. She said she wanted to come to Church. We also met her boyfriend and invited them to Church and they both came! Yay! :) It was so great!
One other great thing that happened was that on Wednesday morning, Billy (who is the boyfriend of Beth) texted us. He said, "What would you say is the most important part of the book to read. And if I was to decide to be baptized, how would it be done" So we responded by directing him to 3 Nephi chapters 11 and 27. I told him the answer to his 2nd question was found in 3 Nephi 11:23-26. Later on that evening he messaged us back, "Wish I would have read a few things I read today a long time ago. Thank you for directing me to those chapters. I also saw the articles on and it made a big difference in how I feel. I've had a lot of doubt. But I see better now and it helped me understand. Thanks for all your help." We then asked him what his next step would be and what he will do with the knowledge he gained, and he responded "Repent". So anyway, that was really great too! :)
So, ever since I arrived here in Edmonds (having white-washed into the area) there was an apathetic "vibe" for missionary work. Gaining the trust and friendship of all the members is something that we have worked on since day 1. Ever since coming here I have been praying to know what it is that I can do to encourage the members and help them with their missionary work. Finally, last Sunday I received my answer. The answer started coming a little bit earlier in the evening, but that night as I was pondering and meditating, the revelation came fully and solidified in my head, with me being shown every detail of it. It was incredible! We recently had a new book added to the approved missionary library worldwide. It is called "The Power of Everyday Missionaries" by Clayton Christensen. It is INCREDIBLE! Basically everything we learn on a mission is contained in that book, and it's such an easy, quick read! The revelation I received was that we needed to make a member missionary class, with the curriculum coming from that book! We pitched the idea to Bishop this past week and he really liked it and said that he'd go buy some of the books at Deseret Book and that on Sunday we could pitch it to ward council.
So yesterday, along with Bishop, we presented the idea to the ward council. There's one guy in particular who is quite the contrarian, who insisted it is not a good idea to launch anything in August and that we would need to wait to September, etc, etc. Well then, I got the attention of everyone, it was absolutely silent, and I said, "I have been praying about this with all my heart ever since I got here. I received this revelation last Sunday, and I KNOW that it is from God. Transfers are next week, and I most likely will be leaving. There is a great sense of urgency for this, and it needs to happen now." As I was speaking, the Spirit rushed into the room. I almost started crying, it was so intense! Everyone felt it, and the relief society president leaned forward from the other side of Sis Redford to look at me in amazement. ;) It was one of the most incredible feeling I have ever experienced. It was AMAZING! So then Bishop said, get a sign-up sheet and flyer and we will pass it around. In 2 minutes, I was done with that. I made a sign-up sheet that asked people to express if they would like to attend our Sunday class during Sunday School, or our Thursday evening class. We got 12 people signed up for the Sunday class and 9 for the Thursday class! But some of those people will bring their spouses too. Everyone came up to us after Church telling us what an amazing idea it was, how excited they were, and how it is always so scary to talk about the Church but that they want to! It was just incredible and amazing and wonderful! :) I am SO thankful to be here and to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. I'm so thankful to be able to receive the promptings of the Spirit and to be able to act on them.
I'm so thankful to be here and I'm so grateful for everyone's love and support and prayers!
I love you all!
Love, Sister Stanley
Washington Seattle Mission

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Washington, Week 12

Well, I have been on my mission the equivalent of 2 transfer periods now. Although, since we switched to the Seattle mission we are now on a different transfer schedule, so this transfer will be a total of 8 weeks. So, I get at least 2 weeks more here in Edmonds! :) I am hoping for more, but we will see where the Lord needs/wants me.
We had a bit of excitement this week. On Saturday we went to dinner at Jan Lee and Dave Krilevich's house. Dave is a wonderful cook and he was in the process of making stir fry when we arrived. He put the oil in the wok to warm up and then came over to the table to listen to Sister Redford's story she was telling him. All I could see from where I was sitting is the side of the fridge. The oven is on the other side of the fridge, but Sis Redford was standing by the sliding door, and casually in her conversation, she says, "Your thing's on fire." It was so casual that Dave and I needed a second to process what she was saying, but then he cursed and ran over to the stove. I'm still sitting there with thoughts flying around my head, not fully processing what's going on (probably from Sister Redford's lack of emotion in her voice). But then I see an intense orange glow dancing on the walls and Dave's face. That's when my mind started processing things. ;) Then Dave tells Sis Redford to get out of the way and open the door. So he turns with the wok in his hand, and my mind finally clicks when I see the GIANT pillar of fire in this wok, "Oh my gosh, this is a real fire!" ;) The thought most prevalent in my head, He cannot take that outside! Then he puts it back on the stove cause it was burning his hands. And then I see the fire coming above the fridge and my mind is saying "Oh no! The ceiling is going to catch on fire!" Dave says, "I don't know what to do!" Sister Redford says, "Yes you do. You got this." ;) Then something clicks in his head and he opens the cupboard door and grabs out the fire extinguisher, and TA-DA! Disaster averted just in time! Meanwhile he's calling to Jan Lee, who is downstairs putting a stitch in Sister Redford's shirt, and totally oblivious that her house was about to catch on fire. Also, the smoke alarms are going off and there's thick smoke throughout the house. This all happened SO fast, but it was pretty intense ;) We then ran around turning all the fans on and opening all the windows, and then Dave told us all to go out on the deck cause yeah...the smoke got intense there for a bit. Then Dave got out his camp stove and cooked us a delicious stir fry ;) But turns out...this entire experience was a miracle from Heavenly Father (Dave is not a member) and afterwards he just kept saying that he was so thankful that God had not let the house catch on fire, and after dinner he picked the topic for us to share a message on (The Sabbath Day). He said he misses going to Church cause he has a new job where he has to work Sundays, but he said he will see if he can do anything to get that time to come to Church. Afterwards, I felt prompted to ask him to say the closing prayer and he did! He thanked God for making the house not catch on fire and he thanked Him for his wonderful wife. :) When we were leaving, he told us that he loves us both and thank you for everything ;) It was great! The fire turned into a wonderful bonding moment and caused Dave to be humbled (which, yes, we have been praying for that and so has Jan Lee, we just weren't expecting a fire, but Hey! We'll take it if there were no serious consequences!) ;)
Also, the day before we had set up a church tour with a potential investigator and Jan Lee and Dave came, and you should've heard Dave talking up the Church and telling our investigator how much he'd love it! Sister Redford and I kept looking at each other like, "What the?" It was wonderful. That potential didn't end up coming to Church yesterday, but maybe it was all for Dave. In any case, it was wonderful and I'm so thankful for our Father in Heaven and the mysterious ways in which He works! :)

An exciting bit of news...I finished the Book of Mormon on Saturday! It was great! Reading the Book of Mormon as a missionary is INCREDIBLE! There are so many things in there that I "just know" weren't in there before ;) It's amazing!

Also, tomorrow is our first weekly meeting of our "Book of Mormon Book Club" that Sis. Redford and I are starting. We're pretty excited about that. We've got our new converts coming and a bunch of less active members of our ward. Sis. Redford always says that she's never met a less active who has read the Book of Mormon all the way through and prayed to gain a testimony about it. And it's true. The Book of Mormon literally has the power to change lives and to work miracles. It's wonderful. This is also part of the prompting we received to have the Bishop initiate a ward Book of Mormon challenge to read before the end of the year. The response has been incredible! This ward has HUNDREDS of less active members and it's just so sad. But this is going to make a difference, I just know it! :) I'm excited to see it!

Also, we have a had a lady move into our ward this last month who is just incredible. Her passion is missionary work and she always talks about how we need to inspire the ward because it is the members' duty to find people for the missionaries to teach. I never got that before I came on my mission. She just gets it though and it's incredible! I'm so excited! We're on the verge of a missionary work explosion! ;)

Well, that's all for this week! I love you all! Thank you, thank you for all your love and support and prayers! They mean everything to me! :)
Love, Sister Stanley
Washington Seattle Mission

Monday, July 15, 2013

Washington, Week 11

Well, this week has been very challenging, but we were also rewarded with something very wonderful!
Tuesday we went to a special conference to meet our new mission president, President Choi (pronounced Chay). He and his wife are just wonderful! 
Wednesday we spent most of the day going around tracting/handing out flyers for our ward's pancake breakfast the next day.
Thursday on the 4th of July, we went to our ward's pancake breakfast/flag-raising ceremony. Then we had to go over to a family barbecue that some less-active members invited us to. They introduced us to their whole family, so that was good. Then we had to run to another barbecue that we were invited to at Jan Lee's house (she's the one that was baptized back in September), then we went to our dinner appointment with Blanca ;) Then we had to be in our apartment by 6:00. That was a little disappointing, but I know it was for our protection. Even though I was a little sad to be away from my family for one of my favorite holidays, I was very thankful that there are people in our ward who love us so much and who wanted to make sure that we had a good holiday. I was able to be around people who I know love me, who also distracted me from being away from family. I am very thankful for that.
Friday night, I was overcome with a desire to cut my hair off!! So...I did! ;) haha It's much lighter and easier to manage with my limited time to get ready in the morning. I really like it.
Then yesterday we had another appointment with Jerry, and he committed to prepare for baptismon August 18th!! He said "Yes!" before we even finished asking him! :) I am SO happy! He's excited and this week he is starting to cut off his coffee consumption. Sue (the lady he takes care of) said the closing prayer after our lesson and she said, "I'm just thrilled to death that Jerry is getting baptized." :) It was SO wonderful! She also said to Jerry, "When is your wife getting baptized?" haha ;) She's such a wonderful missionary with her innocent ways. :) So, that was the big miracle that happened this week! I'm so extremely happy for Jerry and for his desire to draw closer to the Lord. It has been wonderful watching his heart soften and his faith grow!
Well, I believe that's it for this week! Keep looking for those missionary opportunities that are all around you!
I love you! Thank you for your prayers and support!
Oh, and I also gave Blanca a haircut this week ;)
Love, Sister Stanley
Washington Seattle Mission

Monday, July 1, 2013

Washington, Week 10

Well, I am now a missionary in the Washington Seattle Mission!

This week has been pretty good! On Monday we got 2 new investigators! :)

Tuesday we were able to go to the temple and we did initiatories :) That was really great. We also taught another lesson to Beth Eno's family. Her boyfriend read from the Book of Mormon and he liked it, so that's always great! :)

Wednesday and Thursday we had lessons with Tiffany again. She's progressing so well and she just gets it. Unfortunately Wednesday and Thursday I was under my chiropractor's orders to rest and heal because on Monday I fell and hurt myself kind of all over...yeah, I'm awesome like that ;)

On Friday we were able to attend a special Sisters Training Meeting with President and Sister Wilson, which was awesome because we got to hear from them one more time, plus I got to see all of my MTC friends! :) Then later on, we got ANOTHER new investigator and taught a lesson! :) How awesome is that?!

On Saturday we were able to teach Jerry again and I extended a "soft baptism invite" to him and he accepted! :) We also had dinner with a less active couple and they ended up coming to church yesterday!

Yesterday we were able to have lessons with Jan Lee, who was baptized in September, and her non-member husband, and with another less active man in the ward. We also were able to talk to a potential investigator and he told us that he will come to the ward's annual pancake breakfast on the 4th! :) So, that's great!

One thing that is so amazing is that at the beginning of this month, President Wilson had extended a challenge to us for each of the companionships in the mission to have 3 progressing investigators, and as of Saturday, we got our 3rd! :) Our district leader told us last night that every companionship in our district has reached 3 progressing investigators! What a wonderful miracle to witness! :)

Well, I think that's about it for this week. It was really good though, especially with me being "laid up" for a couple days!

Now we are Seattle missionaries and our new mission president just arrived at SeaTac! His name is President Yoon Hwan Choi (pronounced Chay). He is from South Korea, and he is a general authority! He is a member of the first council of the 70 and he is part of the council for directing the temples.

I'm very excited for what is to come. It will be wonderful! :)

Continue to look for those missionary opportunities that are all around you!

Love Always, Sister Stanley
Washington Seattle Mission

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Washington, Week 9

Monday evening we taught a lesson to a part-member family. The mom is a member, as well as the 14-year-old daughter, but they just starting to come back to church. The little boy just turned 9 on Sunday and he is not baptized yet. Also, her sometimes-live-in boyfriend is not a member, so we are teaching those 2. We also taught them again Friday evening.

Unfortunately, Tuesday I was very ill, and basically confined to our apartment all day, but thankfully I got over that quickly!!

Wednesday we met with the same lady who bore her testimony for the first time in 10 years after we visited with her. She told us that she has spoken to the bishop about returning to the temple. She said that ever since the first time we visited with her, she has felt someone "on her tail" about getting back to the temple and she told the bishop that she really wants to go when we are still here so that we can go with her ;) We'll have to get special permission for that, but it really touched me hearing that. :)

Wednesday we also did a lot of service, and then we had a lesson with Blanca and Tiffany again, and that's always great! :)

We called a referral that was in our area book. When I was on exchange last week, we called the referral center and found out that nobody had ever followed up on it and it came in December! Anyway, we called her up and she was really happy to hear from us! We will probably meet with her this week! Hopefully!

Thursday we had a "special conference". It was basically Pres and Sister Wilson's last opportunity to instruct us, as they will be going back home at the end of this week! It was really good and they said lots of things that really helped me. President Wilson talked about how we don't have to be perfect. We just need to start where we are and always strive to move forward. He was definitely inspired to say that for me! ;)

We had another cleaning check this week, so we had to scrub a bit on Thursday (WAY easier than last time!) We also met with the Bishop and with Blanca again on Thursday.

On Friday we had our weekly planning session, then we went to visit a potential name in our area book that had just been popping out at me for the past week. We went to see her, and she invited us right in. She told us that her brother had just passed away. She was very close to him and she cried a few times while we were there. But we shared some of the Plan of Salvation with her and she really liked that. We set up a return appointment with her, so we're very happy about that! :)

Saturday morning, we moved another family. We have moved someone basically every Saturday since we've been here. It's crazy. My skills in moving have really come in handy. While the guys were gone unloading the truck at the new place, I packed up their entire kitchen. I felt pretty proud of that ;) Now I know why I have moved so many times! ;)

Saturday we also went and taught Jerry over at the group family home. Sue too. She's feeling a lot better since her minor heart attack last week. I'm very thankful for that. We watched Finding Faith in Christ with them and then we started reading the Book of Mormon with Jerry. Sue is SO great. She was like, "Jerry, when are you going to join?" ;) haha We love her. I guess she tells Jerry things about the church when we're not there. He mentioned that he'll have to give up some habits and we haven't even taught him about those yet ;)

Saturday we went to Blanca's house again because her fiance Vincent was there and he was asking questions! He's always been very stubborn that he is "not going to become a Mormon"! He mentions it so often that I think he knows that he will ;) Anyway, he asked lots of the "golden questions". We testified that this Church is true and taught him how he can know for himself, and HE PRAYED AT THE END!! It took lots of convincing, but he did it!!

Then the next day we went over there after the Worldwide Leadership Training Conference, and he told us that he had had a dream!! He described that in it he was in a forest, and then this really bright white light appeared and he couldn't see. Then Sis. Redford was in the dream and she was telling him, "Now's your chance Vince, you can ask your question." But he was so shocked by the light that he couldn't think of a question to ask. Well, when we heard this, we freaked out, ran to the living room, and stuck in The Restoration dvd! When it got to the part where the light appeared when Joseph was praying, he exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! That was my dream!" It was a miracle. He has not heard the story of Joseph Smith or ever seen this dvd! It was incredible. He is still being stubborn, but I can see his heart softening and I know that he will join the Church sooner or later. :)

This was a week full of small miracles! How blessed I am to witness them! I am able to feel the Spirit guiding me to these people and it is incredible!

I would like to recommend to everyone that if you haven't already, please watch the Leadership Training from this past Sunday. Please follow the council that is given to talk to everyone, to be a good example, to befriend them, and to invite them to come unto Christ. Don't be scared. :) The Lord will help you.

I love you all! Thank you for your love and support and prayers! It means everything to me to know that I have so many people I love "cheering me on". :)

Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Stanley

Washington Everett Mission